Transfer Focus: Manchester City Zabaleta announcement opens door for Bilic

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta will leave the club at the end of the season after nine-years at The Etihad, the club have confirmed.

What’s the word?

The Sky Blues have confirmed what has long thought would be the case, that club stalwart and fan favourite Zabaleta will not have his contract extended beyond this year and will be leaving come the close of the season, with Tuesday night’s clash against West Brom his last home appearance.

The Argentine, has made well over 300 appearances in a Manchester City shirt since his move from Espanyol back in 2008, the same summer the club was taken over by Sheikh Mansour.

With his future confirmed, it is now a guessing game of where the 32-year-old will be playing his football come the start of the 2017/18 season.

Most reports point confidently towards a deal with West Ham over the summer months, with Slaven Bilic needing to get his business right in order to improve on a poor first season at London Stadium.

A good deal?

It would seem so. West Ham’s failings this season have largely stemmed from the start and their woeful work in the summer window leading up to the season.

Having made a total of 13 signings before the window closed, there was an obvious dearth of experienced Premier League talent added to the squad, which has proven to be costly in the months since.

Despite Zabaleta’s age it is rare that the opportunity to sign a two-time Premier League title winner on a free transfer comes along and, given the Hammers’ troubles in the right-back department over the past couple of seasons, it seems a deal too good to pass upon.